It’s an eventful Monday for the Elon Musk Twitter acquisition. The deal has officially passed US Antitrust review, meaning it can likely go ahead without obstruction if both parties are happy. That said, it still seems there could be some contention with Elon Musk’s lawyers threatening he could walk out on the deal if further information on the platform’s percentage of bot users is not disclosed.
The clearance of the deal with US Antitrust regulators was reported over the weekend, as shared by Competition Policy International. The regulatory waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 officially expired on Friday. Under the Act, companies must supply advance notice of transactions which may run over a certain limit, after which antitrust authorities have 30 days to launch an investigation and decide whether further information on a deal must be pursued for legality’s sake. With the HSR waiting period passed, it would seem the Twitter/Musk deal is simply waiting on final closing conditions, including shareholder approval.
That said, the deal may yet fail if Elon Musk doesn’t get his way when it comes to information on bots on the platform. According to a report by Associated Press, lawyers representing Musk said on Monday, that Twitter’s failure to provide adequate information on bots on the platform is in breach of certain obligations connected to the merger. While executives like CEO Parag Agrawal have contended that such data would be difficult to supply, Musk has insisted that the deal cannot move forward until he can properly verify Twitter’s claim that bots only make up around 5 percent of its over 220 million users. Despite Musk’s claim, Twitter executives have also reinforced that the deal will not be renegotiated.
At this point, it seems like the deal is do or die between Twitter’s board of directors and Elon Musk’s demands. There are also the shareholders to consider, with some having put a lawsuit against Musk for allegedly manipulating the company’s stock. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess, but it seems US Antitrust are stepping aside from any further action against the deal.